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By Wayne Rivers, Family Business Institute
The Coronavirus has thrown a real monkey wrench into what looked like a terrific year for most contractors. This may prove to be a very short-lived public health matter, and the rebound may be swift, but no one really knows what to expect. There are, however, some things that leaders can and must do to keep their businesses moving forward and productive even in such a time.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus to be a pandemic. We don't know if the current situation is going to last a month, several months, or even years, and there's no way to know. No one has a crystal ball. Looking at the situation from a different perspective, however, causes me to think that this unique situation has created a terrific opportunity for you to LEAD. Especially in times of crisis, your employees, partners, and vendors are looking to you for leadership, guidance, direction, and optimism. The following are five tips for how to manage through this unpredicted and unpredictable circumstance.
During the Great Recession, our business, like that of many readers, was down about 50%. I found myself on a phone call with a client, Don Woodruff of Woodruff Construction in Iowa. I was moaning and groaning about how tough things were, and Don took that opportunity to give me a stern lecture.
He said, “Wayne, you are the leader. It's your job to lead your organization to find ways to be productive, add value, and make money irrespective of the conditions around you.”
That was some wake-up! The scales fell from my eyes, and I realized that Don had imparted some powerful wisdom. The coronavirus situation is presenting you with a powerful challenge. It's your job to lead and inspire your people despite the turmoil going on around you. Calm is contagious. Be the kind of leader your people need at the time they need you most.